CS Exclusive | Elior
Today we welcome the start of Spring, sunny weather and festival season with a bright new mix (and interview) from Amsterdam DJ, producer and songwriter Elior. Over the past year he has quickly gained attention through a string of excellent feel–good house takes on classic tracks from artists such as Nelly Furtado, Suzanne Vega and Destiny's Child (our personal favorite). Now the young gun has started wading into original waters and with instant success, following up last month's Sweet Love with yet another amazing original this week, My Eyes, which you can catch below.
We recently sat down for a chat with Elior to hear a little more about his style/sound, inspirations and future plans. He's also taken the time to put together an outstanding mix for us, serving as the ideal entrance to springtime as the weather begins to warm up. Regardless of whether your current climate is following suit or not, you'll have no problem imagining so. Jump in!
Miami Horror - Love Like Mine (Bee’s Knees Remix) Montgomery - Not Around (JackLNDN Remix) Elior - My Eyes (ft. Sarah Monti) Anderson .Paak - Am I Wrong (ft. Schoolboy Q) Thandi Phoenix - Unraveling (prod. Arona Mane) Gigamesh - Control (ft. Caroline Smith) Panteone - Travel (Upsilone Remix) Saint WKND - Lost (Fabich Remix) 3 Monkeyzz - For You Blonde - Feel Good ft. Karen Harding (Ferdinand Weber & Fabich Remix) The Weeknd - Tell Your Friends (Just Kiddin’ Edit) Suzanne Vega - Tom’s Diner (Elior Rework)
Caveman Sound: Tell us a bit about the mix you’ve made — what do you want people to get from it? What’s the vibe?
Elior: Springtime just kicked in! I tried to capture that feeling of excitement in the mix. That feeling you get when you’re pre-gaming at someone’s house, getting ready for a night out, or getting just the right amount of too drunk during while day drinking on a sunny day at the park. I wanted to make a soundtrack for moments like those.
CS: How has growing up in Amsterdam shaped the music you make?
E: Amsterdam is a great place to live. It’s a really diverse city where you can find people from all different sorts of cultural backgrounds and there a lot’s subcultures here. So there are also all kinds of different parties, ranging from dancehall/urban/hip-hop stuff to crazy techno/house raves and everything in between. I just like to have a little taste of everything every once in awhile and try try to mix all the genres I like into my music. That’s why I really loved to rework songs like 'Destiny’s Child - Say My Name' and 'Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous' because I love that RnB/Pop vibe while still having the opportunity to give it a little housey touch. So yeah, Amsterdam has definitely helped shape the music I make. And then we haven’t even touched on the subject of the city’s very tolerant drug policy yet...
CS: You gained notoriety through your reworks of tracks like Tom’s Diner and Say My Name, but recently moved into original material with Sweet Love — can you speak to that shift?
E: I loved doing those reworks because all the tracks I reworked had some special meaning for me, because of the childhood memories they made me think of. 'Modjo - Lady' for example, that song just reminds me of summertime back when I was a little kid. Plus, it's really a good way to become a better producer and songwriter, because you already have these world class vocal lines to work with in your productions. And it’s a great way to get your name out there when you’re just beginning.
But after a while I just got fed up with remaking existing songs and I started to get a creative itch to make my own, with my own melodies and words. So I began writing lyrics and melodies over my own productions. I'm really focusing on getting better at that writing right now as well, because my ultimate goal in music is to make make songs that are able to touch people’s hearts the same way some songs touch mine.
CS: A lot of DJs are starting to incorporate live elements into their sets — as a songwriter/guitarist yourself, have you considered making that move?
E: Definitely. Awhile ago I started writing songs with Emile, a good friend of mine who's also an insanely talented drummer and songwriter. We're now developing our live-set where we'll incorporate live drums, guitar and vocals with all kinds of different genres in electronic music. We want to create a complete live show, while still focusing on being an electronic club/festival act. Think Hall & Oates in a 21st century jacket, minus the bad haircuts.
CS: Music is an essential part of travelling for us — do you have any favorites to listen to while you’re on the go?
E: I really like to listen to Hip-Hop and Rap music while on the go, because that's the only time I give myself the opportunity to really listen to the lyrics. And especially while I’m cruising through the city on my bicycle (cause that’s how we roll in Amsterdam), I like to get hyped up with some 'Drake - Lord Knows' or 'Anderson .Paak - Drugs' type of shit to the point where people start to wonder what the fuck I must be listening to.
CS: What have you been inspired by lately?
E: Anderson .Paak. The way that guy sings, raps, drums, dances, it’s all so insanely cool to watch and listen to. I went to his show in Amsterdam about a month ago and haven’t been so inspired by anything in a very long time. Half way into it he and his band were so on fire, I started having one major epiphany after another about life and career choices I was pondering on. And all that thanks to the positive energy their performance gave me. I remember waking up the day after, and from that moment on my productivity and creativity have tripled compared to the weeks before the show. One day I’ll tell him what an impact that show has had on me.
CS: Tell us the first album you ever bought
E: That must have been 50 Cent’s ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’. My street cred was off the charts back then.
CS: What are some fellow acts that you’re loving at the moment?
E: Blonde are doing a mean job on the whole pop/house crossover thing, Bee’s Knees too in an indie pop kinda way. I really like what The Him is doing with their exotic housey sound. And I love the slightly more banging stuff that Shaun Frank, Oliver Heldens and Throttle are doing. I know my buddy De Hofnar is coming out with some really cool stuff soon as well. And of course everything Wave Racer touches is magic.
CS: Your music is best listened to while...
E: Skipping the party to go 3rd base on the beach with a beer in one hand and a joint in the other.
CS: What do you have coming up for the summer and beyond?
E: I’m working like a maniac at the moment, because I really want to surprise people with some fresh summer soundtracks. I've got a lot of different stuff ready now, most of it with my signature guitar sounds. I’m planning on putting out something new every few weeks to get people hyped, and then end of Spring I’m gonna start dropping the summer bombs.
After summer I’ll just see what my options are. When I’m ready for it, I’ll drop my first EP or start looking to release through labels officially. For now I’m happy with distributing my music online. Future’s looking bright and I’m having a ton of fun with the direction I chose in my life. I just hope to be able to keep sharing that fun with everybody listening to my music :)
Thanks for having me guys!
Cheers to Elior for getting together with us on this. If you aren't already, get connected with him on socials to stay up–to–date.